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Author Archive

What exoplanets have to do with the coronavirus

What exoplanets have to do with the coronavirus

Astrophysicist Kevin Heng and epidemiologist Christian Althaus have just published a joint study. In an interview with “uniaktuell”, the two researchers explain what the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 has to do with exoplanetary chemistry and what they hope to gain from INPUT, a newly founded interfaculty platform. By Brigit Bucher Astrophysics and […]

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Observatories in “impossible” places

Observatories in “impossible” places

By Timm Riesen Mountains are impregnable Even as late as in the middle of the 19th century people believed that the high peaks in the Alps were impregnable. Many a myth and legend were woven around the topic of these mountain peaks far off in the clouds. Slowly, with the successful first ascents of the […]

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HD 45364

HD 45364

HD 45364 is an extrasolar system located 107 light-years away in the constellation Canis Major (the Greater Dog). The central star is an yellow dwarf (spectral type G8V), a little smaller the Sun (0.88 solar masses, 0.82 solar radii) and of similar temperature (5270 °C, compared to 5500 °C for the Sun). With a visual […]

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A visit of the ice lab

A visit of the ice lab

What do the images of Mars, Comet Chury or other celestial bodies really show? For a reliable answer researchers at the University Bern study the optical properties of dust-ice mixtures that are analogs of planetary or cometary surfaces. Have a look at their laboratory.

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CHEOPS children drawings engraved

CHEOPS children drawings engraved

Our campaign to collect CHEOPS children drawings is completing a major milestone as the first plaques have been engraved. The article tells the story of their production and illustrates the beautiful results. Between March and October 2015, children between the age of 8 and 14 were invited to participate in a competition and submit a […]

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Balancing work and life

Balancing work and life

Ravit Helled is professor at the University of Zürich and Leader of the Academic Platform at the NCCR PlanetS. Find out more about her life as a scientist and mother by clicking on the small magnifying glasses that you see on the rectangular areas on the image of her office. To go back to the […]

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How to build a space telescope

How to build a space telescope

In the next months, engineers at the University of Bern will assemble the CHEOPS space telescope integrating parts arriving from all over Europe. CHEOPS, the CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite, is dedicated to study planets orbiting stars outside of our Solar System. Before building the flight model, the team used a structural model for testing which had […]

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The sky above Cerro Paranal

The sky above Cerro Paranal

For two years, astronomer Henning Avenhaus has worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in Santiago, Chile, studying protoplanetary disks and planet formation. During this time, he several times had the opportunity to work at ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) on Cerro Paranal. But besides sitting in the control room in front of the computer screen […]

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PSR B1257+12

PSR B1257+12

PSR B1257+12 est un système spécial pour plusieurs raisons. Tout d’abord, l’étoile centrale, découverte par Aleksander Wolszczan en 1990 [1] et nommée Lich depuis décembre 2015 [2], est un pulsar. Même si Lich est 1,4 fois plus massif que le Soleil, son rayon n’est que de 10 kilomètres ! Ensuite, ce système fut le premier […]

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